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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

CHRISTIANITY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONSHIPS

persecutors or turning the other cheek, St. Augustine
could formulate the whole aspect of the resulting situa-
tion in the injunction: " Love God and do what you
like ". But it would appear that those whom Christ
has made free hardly dare to believe in their liberty.

Furthermore, the doctrine of love not only claims to
provide the principle which should guide our thoughts
about human behaviour and the general law which it
is our duty to follow in life. It comprises, also, the
very dynamic behind right conduct and it points us
to the actual mainspring of virtuous action* In this
way, of course, it differs radically from any of the sort
of things which we regard as merely ethical ideas or
moral precepts. The Christian system is founded on
the fact that there are things which men will do for love
which they are unable to do (as the New Testament
repeatedly points out) by the external pressure or the
tedious insistences of mere ethical command. If we
compare the result with that morality which consists in
mere obedience to sets of commandments, it will be
seen that when the Christian view appeared in its totality
and as a rounded whole it implied nothing less than a
radical transformation of the moral order.

It was once the case that the kind of righteousness
upon which men insisted was gravely confused and
governed by the demands of what we should regard as
ritual and ceremonial. A new kind of righteousness
develops when men insist that God will not be satisfied
with burnt offerings and that He demands justice and
a certain consideration for the poor and weak. We can
find in the Old Testament actual evidence of the conflict

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